Stitch-a-long 11

Well it’s three weeks since I last posted about my Lattice Flower embroidery. It’s a silk ribbon  embroidery and stumpwork  project designed by Di Van Niekirk. I’ve made good progress this month, albeit over only about three nights maximum. This is where I was three weeks ago, having just finished the delphiniums….

I’m working strictly to the order on my book, otherwise I know I’d do the ones that look easy first and then prevaricate over the difficult ones. The next one to stitch was the irises…

I’ve tried very hard during this project to follow the book, after all I’m trying to learn new techniques and there’s always an ‘easier’ way to do things. This is the first time in this project I’ve not stuck strictly to the  instructions in the book, though I did follow Di Van Niekirk’s instructions..

The book instructs you to use two sheets of dissolvable fabric, I did buy some of this to use, but it did look complicated as you have to ensure that every ribbon stitch is attached to another to secure it in place. I also felt it made quite a bulky flower.


When I googled how to make an iris in ribbon embroidery I found a U tube video by Di van Nie Kirk showing three different ways to stitch an iris, I decided to do number three, the more complex of the three.

My first task though was to dye some ribbon. I’ve got some lengths of plain ribbon and lots of silk paint, so I chose a yellow, tested it on a bit of kitchen roll and then dunked the ribbon in it. The official line is ‘It’s come out just like my flag irises in the garden’,  the unofficial line is ‘It’s a bit bright, but I’m sure it will settle down!’


The method I chose mainly uses detached chain stitch and ribbon stitch, I’m pretty pleased with the result. It was interesting to watch Di doing ribbon stitch, the way she almost strokes the ribbon into position first. The ribbon doesn’t fully cover the background picture, but I can always arrange it just before I get it framed.


The stalks are made by binding cake decorating wire with embroidery thread. The wire is poked through the fabric at the bottom end, bound with thread and then overcast at the top.  As there are quite a few stems it does make for a bulky point, I accidentally missed one off, but when I realised, I decided it wouldn’t be missed and it helped to reduce the bulk a bit.

The leaves are supposed to be in an organza ribbon, I decided to use  silk ribbon, partly because I had some in stock and I find it easier to use, but also because I think iris leaves are quite fleshy and strappy.


The flowers at the base are meant to be rock roses and forget-me-nots. The pink roses are made with a spider’s web rose stitch, this one I’ve done quite a few times through Marilyn Pipes workshops at Denman College, so I’m happy with these. The lavender roses are made using a French knot rose, which is basically like a French knot, but you gather up a length of ribbon too. These came out prettily enough, but very small. I don’t see how with 4mm ribbon you can get it any bigger. In the end I stitched three instead of two and added a few French knots.

So in three weeks I’ve managed to complete a whole panel.  I’m very pleased with the whole effect of this embroidery. The next panel is one of my  favourites, though it’s a lot of embroidery, hopefully in three weeks time I’ll have made some progress.


The Stitch-a-long is organised by Avis of Stitching by the Sea, if you fancy joinng us, please contact Avis for details. There’s quite a few of us taking part now, all doing something different at our own speed. Please follow the lonks and see what everyone else is stitching. Everyone is one different time scales, so if therte’s nothing there, just pop back a bit later.

ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendyMary MargaretTimothy

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About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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24 Responses to Stitch-a-long 11

  1. Catherine says:

    Well done! You have made some great progress these past few weeks. I love that you have even dyed your own ribbon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MrsCraft says:

    It really is coming along beautifully!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kathysnest32 says:

    Beautiful. I am stitching the same embroidery. Need to get mine back out. I am at the same point a you. I have put off doing this panel, but you have made it look so easy. Thank you. Kathleen Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  4. katechiconi says:

    I love the dimensionality of this piece, that the flowers all stand out from the background, and you almost – almost! – tempt me to try ribbon embroidery. But I feel I’m probably a bit too cack-handed for anything that dainty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are tearing through this! It looks great. You’ve just reminded me i forgot to post! Better go and find the camera…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lucyannluna says:

    Love the iris, they are fantastic

    Liked by 1 person

  7. claire93 says:

    I’ve never tried ribbon embroidery, but I’m really enjoying seeing your project take shape

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Debbierose says:

    I am awe struck at this beauty

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kathyreeves says:

    Margaret, I have EXACTLY that color of iris getting ready to bloom right now! So, your color is spot on! If you think it is still too much later, maybe you could tip the edges of the skirts with white? Don’t know if that’s possible, but there is an iris I want that is that same bold yellow, but with white edges on the skirt. This whole piece is incredible to me. Dying ribbons, all the three dimensional work, it boggles my mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s looking more and more gorgeous every time. I love how bright the irises look. That’s just how they are in real life.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Christina says:

    Wow! Very impressive! Is it messy to color your own ribbon? The color turned out so vibrant and I love your completed iris panel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thanks Christina, it’s not messy at all, I filled one of the paint palette hollows with the dye and a bit of water, then just poked the ribbon into it. I’ve got silk paint that fixes with an iron, so I just ran it under the iron to dry and set it at the same time. 5 minute job!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Carole says:

    Love the iris. They look stunning and are the perfect shade of yellow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Margaret I love the iris! I agree, I have almost the same color iris in my garden as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. magpiesue says:

    I am constantly amazed at how well silk ribbon embroidery can replicate flowers. This is going to be just stunning when it’s complete. There’s a house not too far from us that has the most spectacular irises I’ve ever seen. The lower petals are dark purple and the uppers are almost white.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have just returned from Montenegro and they have lots of lovely ribbon embroidery in the shops, but nothing as stunning as the work you do. Each time I see this piece it’s beauty seems to increase.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. rutigt says:

    Every time I see the flowers you have stitched I goes WOW and AHhhh!!! Your embroidery is one of the greatest embroidery I have seen!!! Well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. gillyflower says:

    Wow! This is beautiful. You’re so talented!

    Liked by 1 person

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